Aug. 10: Unsurprisingly, the relationship between Thomas and the team is not in a good place, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). Rapoport adds that a trade could be an option at some point, but given Thomas’ health issues, such a deal wouldn’t be consummated for a while. The two-time First Team All-Pro is likely to start the season on the PUP list, so he could not be dealt until right around the trade deadline.
And, if the Saints were to trade him, the team would be saddled with an $8MM dead money hit this year and a $22MM dead money hit in 2022. For a team with well-documented cap issues already, that would be a tough pill to swallow, especially since New Orleans would be selling low.
Aug. 7: Saints star Michael Thomas ignored check-in calls from team coaches and trainers throughout the offseason, according to sources who spoke with Jeff Duncan of Nola.com. Thomas ignored the club’s repeated pleas to have surgery on his injured ankle. Instead, he held off until June, which means that he’ll be sidelined to start the season.
Thomas got a second opinion on his injury and was told that he could avoid going under the knife. The Saints supported his decision but also asked for regular updates. Thomas then went three months without talking to team officials.
“It’s disappointing,” head coach Sean Payton said recently. “We would have liked (the surgery) to have happened earlier rather than later. And quite honestly, it should have.”
In 2019, Thomas finished with a single-season-record of 149 receptions to go along 1,725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Last year was a different story. Between his one-game suspension and hamstring trouble, Thomas finished out with just 40 catches for 438 yards in seven games. On the plus side, he went on to notch five grabs for 73 yards and one score in the Saints’ playoff win over the Bears.